What is it?

Claudication is a condition that refers to pain or discomfort in the legs caused by a narrowing or blockage of the arteries that supply blood to the legs. The condition is typically caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which can lead to decreased blood flow to the legs, resulting in pain or cramping during physical activity.

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Signs & symptoms

The symptoms of claudication include pain, cramping, or fatigue in the legs during physical activity, which subsides with rest. The pain may be felt in the calves, thighs, buttocks, or feet. In severe cases, PAD can cause ulcers or gangrene, which may require amputation of the affected limb.


Diagnosis of claudication involves a physical exam, a review of the patient's medical history, and diagnostic tests such as an ankle-brachial index (ABI) test, which measures blood pressure in the arms and legs. Additional tests may include an ultrasound or angiogram to visualize the blood flow in the affected arteries.


Treatment of claudication may involve lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, increasing physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight. Medications such as antiplatelet agents, cholesterol-lowering drugs, and vasodilators may be prescribed to improve blood flow and reduce pain. In some cases, surgical procedures such as angioplasty, stenting, or bypass surgery may be necessary to restore blood flow to the affected area.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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